Definition of pillory in English:


Syllabification: pil·lo·ry
Pronunciation: /ˈpilərē

noun (plural pillories)

  • A wooden framework with holes for the head and hands, in which an offender was imprisoned and exposed to public abuse.
    More example sentences
    • The punishments for which may be confiscation of the fish, imprisonment, the pillory, and the offender giving up his occupation for a year and a day.
    • Prime Ministers and all high levels of UK government should be forced to spend at least one week a month in public stocks and pillories.
    • But he puts it from him as a temptation of the Evil One, makes public confession on the pillory which had been the scene of Hester's shame, and dies in her arms.

verb (pillories, pillorying, pilloried)

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Put (someone) in the pillory.


Middle English: from Old French pilori, probably from Provençal espilori (associated by some with a Catalan word meaning 'peephole', of uncertain origin).

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